It's the future, Jim, but not as we know it...

There's more to tomorrow than robots, flying cars, and a faster internet.
22C+ is all about Deep Futures, futures that matter. Welcome to futures fantastic, unexpected, profound, but most of all deeply meaningful...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Other Side of Hong Kong

 A smaller island, off Chen Chau (island), seen through the trees near the Trappist Monastery on Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Note: first video may not show up on home page - if so, click "read more" to see it. You will find several other short videos there, also. Double click on the video if you can't see the whole thing on your screen.

Hong Kong is a very busy place. When most people think of this territory where I live,  images of glittering high-rises and international bankers in flashy business suits come to mind.
There are 7 million people crammed into a relatively small area in Hong Kong. Most of them live on Hong Kong Island, and Kowloon, which is just across the harbor from the island. I have often lamented the extreme urbanisation of Hong Kong, and how much of the population has lost touch with nature, and the inner worlds of the human spirit. Life has become over-commercialised and over-techlologised. It appears that most Hong Kong people are either unable or unwilling to extract themselves from their busy work life, contsant mobile phone chattering and SMS texting, internet surfing, shopping and eating/sleeping to explore life at a deeper level. In part, one can point the finger at the government, and its policy makers, who have fully bought into the idea that human futures are  predominantly about more money and more machines for everyone. Yet there are other choices that are available,to the general public, even in extremely urbanised environments like Hong Kong.
Few people outside Hong Kong know that there are many rural areas around the city. including many fascinating islands.
Fully 40% of the territory is designated as national park. Yet even the locals seem reluctant to explore them. Yesterday, Sunday, my wife Emma and I went on a short hike from our home on Lantau Island, just a 23-minute ferry ride away from Central. It was a wonderfully cool summers day, thanks to some high cloud and low humidity. Yet on the entire hike, we saw no more than a dozen or so other hikers. On the little beach you will see in one of the videos below, my wife and I were literally the only people . We stayed there for half an hour and enjoyed the serenity. In contrast, the shopping malls of Hong Kong are so packed on Sundays, that one can often barely squeeze past other shoppers.
Somehow, something vitally important has been forgotten here.
So here is evidence that this other side of Hong Kong does indeed exist!.Please excuse the sound of my breathing here and there! This is quite hilly terrain, and is slightly aerobically challenging.
The village in this first video is situated by the ocean, and is just five minutes away from where I live. The first time we went here a couple of weeks ago, my wife refused to pass through, because of the dogs… as you shall see.

About fifteen minutes more of walking, and the track goes up into the hills, where there is a quaint Trappist (Christian) monastery. This is a very pretty little place. I have been told that the monks have taken a vow of silence – expect for the singing. I snuck my video camera in there for a few seconds!

This beach is a ten minute walk down from the monastery. My wife and I stayed here for half an hour and enjoyed the serenity. Not a single other person came. The van seen near the beginning is delivering somebody top the ferry. As you will see from the second video, there is no such thing as a pristine place in this part of the world.

Finally, here is another village close to where I live, which we passed on the way home.

I trust you saw something you didn't already know about Hong Kong, today!

No comments:

Post a Comment